The Rate of Cyber Dating Abuse Among Teens and How It Relates to Other Forms of Teen Dating Violence
- 6k Downloads
To date, little research has documented how teens might misuse technology to harass, control, and abuse their dating partners. This study examined the extent of cyber dating abuse—abuse via technology and new media—in youth relationships and how it relates to other forms of teen dating violence. A total of 5,647 youth from ten schools in three northeastern states participated in the survey, of which 3,745 reported currently being in a dating relationship or having been in one during the prior year (52 % were female; 74 % White). Just over a quarter of youth in a current or recent relationship said that they experienced some form of cyber dating abuse victimization in the prior year, with females reporting more cyber dating abuse victimization than males (particularly sexual cyber dating abuse). One out of ten youth said that they had perpetrated cyber dating abuse, with females reporting greater levels of non-sexual cyber dating abuse perpetration than males; by contrast, male youth were significantly more likely to report perpetrating sexual cyber dating abuse. Victims of sexual cyber dating abuse were seven times more likely to have also experienced sexual coercion (55 vs. 8 %) than were non-victims, and perpetrators of sexual cyber dating abuse were 17 times more likely to have also perpetrated sexual coercion (34 vs. 2 %) than were non-perpetrators. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
KeywordsTeen dating violence Cyber dating abuse Victimization Perpetration
This project was supported by Award No. 2010-WG-BX-003, awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions and recommendations expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice, or of the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders. Elements of this paper were reported to the National Institute of Justice in the form of a final technical report as per grant obligations. The authors would like to thank: (1) the administrators, faculty, and staff of schools who assisted us in collecting the data documented in this report, (2) CJ Pascoe of Colorado College and Cindy Southworth, Erica Olsen, and Sarah Tucker of the National Network to End Domestic Violence for their input on survey measures, and (3) the National Institute of Justice and Dr. Nancy La Vigne, Director of the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center, for their careful review of project findings.
JZ is co-Principal Investigator of the study and helped guide substantive decisions regarding survey development, measurement development, conceptualization of the research questions, and direction of research. She is primary author of the manuscript, drafting the literature review, methods, and portions of the discussion. MD is co-Principal Investigator of the study and helped guide substantive decisions regarding survey development, measurement development, conceptualization of the research questions, and direction of research. She also drafted portions of the discussion. JY participated in conceptualization of measures, research questions, and direction of analyses. She drafted portions of the results section. PL participated in conceptualization of measures, research questions, and direction of analyses. She conducted analyses and drafted portions of the results section. All authors read and approved the manuscript.
- Canadian Housing, Family, and Social Statistics Division. (1999). General Social Survey. Canada.Google Scholar
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Youth risk behavior surveillance—United States, 2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 61(4), 1–166. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss6104.pdf.
- Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Cutbush, S., Ashley, O. S., Kan., M. L., Hampton, J., & Hall, D. M. (2010). Electronic aggression among adolescent dating partners: Demographic correlates and associations with other types of violence. Poster presented at the American Public Health Association, annual meeting, November 6–10, Denver, CO.Google Scholar
- Cutbush, S., Williams, J., Miller, S., Gibbs, D., & Clinton-Sherrod, M., (2012). Electronic dating aggression among middle school students: demographic correlates and associations with other types of violence. Poster presented at the American Public Health Association, annual meeting, October 27–31, San Francisco, CA.Google Scholar
- Griezel, L. (2007). Out of the schoolyard and into cyber space: Elucidating the nature and psychosocial consequences of traditional and cyber bullying for Australian secondary students. Unpublished honours thesis, University of Western Sydney, Sydney.Google Scholar
- Lenhart, A. (2012). Teens, smartphones, and texting. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project.Google Scholar
- Lenhart, A., Madden, M., Smith, A., Purcell, K., Zickurh, K., & Rainie, L. (2011). Teens, kindness and cruelty on social network sites. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project.Google Scholar
- Lenhart, A., Purcell, K., Smith, A., & Zickuhr, K. (2010). 2010 social media and young adults. Washington, DC: Pew Internet and American Life Project.Google Scholar
- Michigan Department of Community Health. (1997). Survey of violence against women in Michigan. Poster presented at American Public Health Association annual meeting, Indianapolis, IN.Google Scholar
- Mulford, C., & Giordano, P. M. (2008). Teen dating violence: A closer look at adolescent romantic relationships. National Institute of Justice Journal, 261.Google Scholar
- Picard, P. (2007). Tech abuse in teen relationships. Chicago, IL: Teen Research Unlimited. http://www.loveisrespect.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/liz-claiborne-2007-tech-relationship-abuse.pdf. Accessed March 24, 2011.
- Quinn, R., (2012). Police seek crime tips via text messages. The State Journal. http://www.state-journal.com/latest%20headlines/2012/11/02/police-seek-crime-tips-via-text-messages. November 2, 2012.
- Rideout, V., Roberts, D., & Foehr, U. (2005). Generation M: Media in the lives of 8–18 year-olds. Menlo Park, CA: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.Google Scholar
- RTI International. (2012). Prevention in middle school matters: A summary of findings on teen dating violence behaviors and associated risk factors among 7th-grade students. Research Triangle, NC: RTI International.Google Scholar